Marathon 26.2


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last Day of School and Knitting Projects

Today was my daughter's last day of preschool! Wow, these last 2 years of preschool went really fast and she'll be embarking on kindergarten next school year. How time flies! We will have 2 months to enjoy the lazy days of summer! We'll be swimming, shopping and taking mini trips to amusement parks or Chuck E. Cheese!

We sent 4 days in Disney World last week. We stayed at the All Star Music Resort. This was our first trip to Disney. Though Jasmine did enjoy Magic Kingdom, I think she liked hanging out at the pool better!

I currently still have unfinished knitting projects. The featherweight cardigan (in lace weight) and Juliet from here: I had purchased 4 skeins of the classic elite sprout yarn to make the Emmaline (from here: I attempted to start this project several times during my trip at Disney but I finally decided to use the yarn for Juliet. The temperature being in the 90s, I couldn't picture making a top in bulky yarn, even if it's cotton! Since I've been wanting to make the Juliet, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do it! I've actually made good progress on my Juliet and I'm now at the start of the lace portion of the pattern. Wouldn't you know it though, Emmaline kept calling me! For some reason, I really want to knit this even though I don't like having more than 2 projects at once, I cast on! The only bulky yarn I had in my stash was Brown Sheep. Honestly, I never liked this shade of blue (periwinkle). I've looked at the yarn several time and always thought to myself what a weird shade of blue! As I was knitting this project, I came to enjoy the yarn and color. I now think the yarn was perfect for this project, even if it's more of a fall/winter top. I used a size 10 needle for the neckline (since I couldn't find any 10 1/2 needles in 16" length). I switched to the recommended needle size of 10 1/2 just before the first eyelet. I knitted the top just below my bust and did the 1 row of purl. I also did 2 sets of decreases instead of 3. I was afraid it would be too tight otherwise. I then did 2 sets of increases. After the increases, I knitted 9 additional rows, instead of 1 3. It seemed like a good length and I bo using a size 11 needle.

This was a very satisfying project! I confessed that I worked on this late into the night several times. I really wanted to finish this and I'm so glad that I did. I finished most of the knitting late last night and redid the bo this morning! I'm thrilled with the color, fit and design. Next time, I would use a lighter weight yarn so I could wear it all summer long!

I hope everyone a happy and safe summer!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Beach Party Dress

I wanted to make myself a dress to wear to a graduation. I'm not looking forward to it, sad to say and this will give me an incentive to go! After searching through the patterns and looking at the types of yarn I have in my stash, I decided to go with the Beach Party Dress. The pattern is from the July 2008 issue of Creative Knitting. It seems simple enough, only a little lace! I fell in love with the magazine version in a pretty coral color. Looking through my knit picks catalogue, I realized that they no longer carry this color! Oh well, I decided that I would use the Plymouth Fantasy yarn I recently purchased from the LYS. I had some concerns about this dress. First, I didn't want it to be too tight because it looks very form fitting. I hope that using the 100% cotton yarn would eliminate part of the problem. Second, I had only 6 skeins of this and I did not want to go back to the LYS to buy more. I decided I'll just knit and buy more yarn if I have to.

I rarely check gauge so it's no wonder that after getting about 1/2 way through the bottom skirt, it was hugh! I did try it on as I go but I only put half the stitches on another needle so it wasn't a "true fit". I figure I had made so much progress on this dress that I did not want to frog! I was determined to continue and do some major modification as I go. I made a ton of decreases throughout. This time, I slipped the stitches to scrap yarn and tried it on. I kept making decreases through out until it was a good fit. When I finally got to the waist, I use the seed stitch and knit about 1 1/2 inch for the waist. To make this a fast and easy knit, I opted to leave out the ribbing for the top half of the dress. This may save me from having to buy additional skein of yarn! When I finally knitted the dress to just about the arm area, I ended it with 3-5 rows of seed stitch again. I omitted the casing and the elastic. With all the decreases, I did not need to use any elastic. The sleeves were tricky for me. I knew I wanted more coverage but should I kept it as a garter stitch or a seed stitch to match the dress? After a lot of trial and error (with various stitches and needle sizes), I kept the garter stitch using a size 9 needle for the lace, size 7 for the garter and back to 9 for the bind off. I also decided to close the button holes for the straps. ( Hubby didn't like how it looked).

This was really a fast project. My goal was to knit 1 skein a night, which I did. I worked on this project a lot and I'm real proud that I was able to make the dress fit in the end. Not to mention, that I stayed within the 6 skeins of yarn I had originally purchased. I'm thrilled with my modification and I LOVE the color of the dress. I've decided that this dress is going to be my Mother's Day present to myself!

As you know, I didn't have the best experience at the LYS but I decided to go again. (In the end, I didn't need the extra skein I bought for this dress). I'm happy to say that I had a good experience this time. There were new people working there and they were very nice and friendly! The one person even talked me into buying the recommended yarn for my next project, Emmaline! I ended up purchasing 4 skeins of the Classic Elite, Sprout in green. I'm looking forward to starting that project next, along with resuming the Feather weight cardigan.

This year will be my 25th High School Reunion! Yes, I'm that old. I know most of my classmates have grown children, in college and they have already finished up school. It's funny because my daughter's 4 and she'll be turning 5 this summer. She starts Kindergarten in August! I'm also thinking about going back to college this fall when she's in school. I seem to have things backward. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life but I'm also scared that my little girl's going to school full time! the meantime, I'm looking forward to our vacation. We'll be taking her to Disney World!

This Sunday, of course if Mother's Day. It's the "hardest" job, but most rewarding job I ever had. It's probably the one I'm MOST proud of. The love I have for my daughter is incredible and the joy she brought into my life is priceless. To all you Mother's out there, Happy Mother's Day! You/We deserve it! :)